Oakland, CA
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Oakland profile


Living in Oakland


Oakland is a large coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of California. With a population of 433,031 people and 113 constituent neighborhoods, Oakland is the eighth largest community in California. Oakland has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

Housing costs in Oakland are among some of the highest in the nation, although real estate prices here don't compare to real estate prices in the most expensive communities in California.

Unlike some cities, Oakland isn’t mainly white- or blue-collar. Instead, the most prevalent occupations for people in Oakland are a mix of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Oakland is a city of professionals, managers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Oakland who work in management occupations (11.77%), office and administrative support (9.29%), and sales jobs (7.80%).

Of important note, Oakland is also a city of artists. Oakland has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Oakland’s character.

Also of interest is that Oakland has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

One thing noticeable about Oakland, is that it has a large population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. That’s because Oakland is full of single people in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting careers in professional occupations. This makes Oakland a great place for young, educated career starters looking to find many people like themselves, with good opportunities for friendships, socializing, romance, and fun. In fact, Oakland is one of the top larger cities in America for educated single professionals to flock.

Oakland is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various waterfront activities.

One downside of living in Oakland, however, is that residents on average have to contend with a long commute, spending on average 33.51 minutes every day commuting to work. It is, however, a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of its neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot. In addition, local public transit is widely used. For those who would prefer to avoid driving entirely and leave their car at home, it may be an option to use the transit instead.

Oakland, like many big cities in America, has a public transportation system, but the citizens of Oakland are lucky because theirs is one of the most extensive and widely used. Many commuters choose to leave their cars at home and instead use the subway to get to and from work. In fact, for some people it is feasible to forgo car ownership entirely, avoiding the cost and headache of driving in heavy traffic. The benefits include reduced air pollution and load on the road network.

The citizens of Oakland are among the most well-educated in the nation: 44.04% of adults in Oakland have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree, whereas the average US city has 21.84% holding at least a bachelor's degree.

The per capita income in Oakland in 2018 was $43,191, which is upper middle income relative to California, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $172,764 for a family of four. However, Oakland contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Oakland is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Oakland home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Oakland residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Oakland also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 27.04% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Oakland include German, Irish, English, Italian, and European.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Oakland's cultural character, accounting for 26.80% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in Oakland is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.